Dessert, Recipes

my favorite carrot cake

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups crushed pineapple (drain the juice if using canned)
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup grated coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts

Sift together flour, soda and salt; set aside. Beat together eggs, oil, buttermilk, sugar and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients. Fold in rest of the ingredients. Blend well. Bake in greased and floured 9 x 13 pan. 350 degrees, 55 minutes.

Recipes, Rice

vegetable fried rice

A few years ago, I began putting together recipes of min that took ten minutes or less to fix. This is one of them:

1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sliced onions
1 tsp ginger grated
1 Tbsp soy sauce or 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 cups cooked rice
salt to taste
2 cups chopped vegetables (Any combination of the following)

  • Green beans
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Bamboo shoot

Heat 1/2 cup oil in wok or wide pot. Add onions, ginger. Saute for about a minute. Add vegetables, salt, and your choice of soy sauce or cilantro. Stir fry on high heat for 2 minutes or until vegetables are crisp and tender. Stir in rice.

Optional: garnish with scrambled eggs.

Fish, Recipes

lemon basil salmon

tumblr_lkaka11CLi1qa07aiToday I noticed that some of the herbs my son planted last summer had tenaciously survived winter. Clinging to the edge of his garden were lemon basil, chives, mint and rosemary. Of course, I had to use them right away. So with the last three salmon fillets I found in the freezer, I set out to create something that maximized my first harvest of herbs. Here it is!

3 to 4 salmon fillets, about 4 oz each
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup finely chopped lemon basil
½ cup chopped chives
1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp Malliga Masala, Red Chili Blend
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp salt

Mix together. Marinate for at least an hour. Place in greased pan. Bake, 350 degrees, 25 minutes. Broil on low for 5 minutes.

Recipes, Veggies

easy summer squash

4 cups sliced squash (just one kind or a mixture of many)
2 cups sliced onions
1/4 cup sliced green pepper
1/2 cup pine nuts (optional)
3 Tbsp chopped parsley
4 cloves garlic
seasoned salt to taste (I use Johnny’s)
pepper to taste
3 Tbsp butter (substituting oil compromises the taste!)

Heat butter in heavy-bottomed skillet. Add rest of the ingredients. Stir and cook over med-high heat  till desired tenderness

Dessert, Personal Ramblings, Recipes

freelancing perks: warm giant cookie at 10am

The biggest stress of being a freelancer is not knowing how big or small your paycheck is going to be each month. On the other hand, the biggest joy is having every day to do what you want to do. You can truly, and literally, seize the day. Without a clock or a team or a boss or a committee, you can create a custom work environment that maximizes your working style. Almost nothing’s the limit when you freelance.

Today, I took a break to eat this giant peanut butter cookie. There’s enough cookie dough in my refrigerator for many more breaks. Here’s the recipe.

Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugar. Add eggs. Beat well. Sift dry ingredients together; then mix it into the butter mixture a fourth of it at a time. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour. Make large balls, almost the size of a tennis ball.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 350 degrees for about 13 to 15 minutes. For soft chewy cookies, make sure you remove them before the bottoms turn brown.

I use my toaster oven when I’m baking just one cookie for my special break.

Main Dish, Recipes

cottage cheese and walnut casserole

4 eggs
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp Italian seasoning
24 oz cottage cheese
14 oz (about 2 cups) cooked ground meat or vegetarian meat crumbles (like Morningstar’s)
4 Tbsp tomato paste
4 cups cornflakes or Special K (original)
2 cups chopped walnuts
3/4  cup milk
3/4 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup oil

Mix all ingredients together. Spread into greased  9 x 11 pan. Cover with foil. Bake in 350 degrees for one hour. Remove foil. Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes.

Main Dish, Recipes

cilantro cumin beans

4  15-oz cans kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
2 cans waters
4 tsp minced garlic (more or less to taste)
4 Tbsp chopped onion
4 packets Goya Sazon with Coriander and Annantto*
4 Knorr cilantro cubes (or 4 tsp chopped fresh cilantro)
1 tsp powdered cumin
* You can buy this in bulk from Amazon


Put all ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil. Simmer for about 2 hours till thick and soupy. Serve over rice.

Pasta, Recipes

for the lazy cook: spinach macaroni and cheese

I needed something quick and cheap to fix. Came up with this. And, what do you know, it got a thumbs-up from the family.

1 box Kraft macaroni cheese and all the ingredients called for on the box and the cheese packet in the box
1 cup of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 cup  milk mixed with 1 tsp cornstarch
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt

Barely cook the macaroni (less than al dente). Drain the water. Mix in all the ingredients. Bring to a gentle boil. Pour into greased casserole dish. Bake 30 minute in 350 degrees.